On Money Monday I share ways I'm learning to save, make, and/or spend money wisely.
I basically need to take back most of what I said about our savings last time I wrote! What I learned and hope to do remains the same, but not only was I wrong about how we are currently saving, but we have revised our savings plan.
I checked out the Simple Mom blog a couple weeks ago, like I do sometimes. She had just posted about how they bought a house without any credit (because they don't use credit cards). I found it interesting and in it she commented about how the lady at Money Saving Mom bought their house in cash, which is what we hope to do one day with God's help.
While she has an extensive series dedicated to sharing how her and her husband saved enough to buy a house, most of the content was relevant to them and their situations. I was hoping for some pointers, but there was really only one thing I could take from it for us. That was the idea to set a time frame and amount goal. For us, we were saving some money for a house and a second car, but we didn't have an idea of how much we wanted to save or when we would want to have it saved by. That is because we don't know where we are going next and when we will want to buy these things - and even less of an idea what a realistic time frame is! And while these things are still true (and really, how can one ever really know), I thought it would be a good idea for us to at least set some goals, for motivation purposes if nothing else. If we didn't reach them, then at least we tried and we can set a new one. When there is no finish line, motivation is lacking.
So Coach and I sat down and talked about it. He didn't really like the idea for the house and car because it just seemed impossible when you really put a number on it. But the discussion led us to look at our current saving practice and the list of short term goals that we have - smaller big purchases we want in to near future (like a new computer). We set a number goal and date goal for our new computer. After that we realized the other things on we wanted really weren't practical since we'll be moving next year, so we scratched those off. Then, instead of working on house or car savings, we decided to focus on building up our emergency fund. Since Coach will need a new job next year (He's doing a two year program right now.), we thought it would be wise to save enough money for a few months' expenses in case he doesn't find a job right away. If he does, then we will probably need the money for moving expenses, or at least some of it. If we don't either way, than we have a solid emergency fund for when we do need it. God willing, his next job will pay better and we can simply save more while still living frugally.
It was too overwhelming for us right now to really make a goal for a house or a second car. I still think about owning a home, but it really isn't in our near future. There are other things we need to focus on right now, so we are trying to take baby steps. Hopefully, with God's help, we will soon be in a position to save, save, save for our own home. For now, we're focused on what's right in front of us.